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Spontaneous Heroism and the Intersubjective Nature of Sacrificial Selflessness in Merleau-Ponty


Spontaneous Heroism and the Intersubjective Nature of Sacrificial Selflessness in Merleau-Ponty

Cuisinier, Emmanuel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8630-5734 (2022) Spontaneous Heroism and the Intersubjective Nature of Sacrificial Selflessness in Merleau-Ponty. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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This paper argues that there are cases of selfless sacrifice, which I call spontaneous heroism, during which the hero is primarily motivated by moral significations that are perceptually provided to them on a pre-judicative level through the event they are experiencing. Spontaneous heroism is not a result of psychological conditioning or rational deliberation but the hero’s pre-judicative and bodily relation to perceptual motives and significations that engender the course of action that leads them to save others in danger. My argument both draws and contributes to scholarship and interpretation of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s texts on heroism and freedom in relation to perception. Most scholars have interpreted his references to heroism in relation to his political thought, but in ways that neglect his interest in the primacy of perception, which informs and leads him to discuss heroic experiences. I push back against this neglect in the literature in order to investigate sacrifice and heroism on the level of perception. I explain that moral significations can arise pre-judicatively if we understand the perception as being affective, linked to Merleau-Ponty’s concept of the body-schema as intersubjective, and involved with his own understanding of pre-judicative experience which he calls the pre-personal. The way in which I expose these phenomenological concepts to describe modern cases of spontaneous heroism leads back to freedom as a central issue for heroism in Merleau-Ponty’s work. Overall, my work further supports other current research on the phenomenon of moral orientation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Cuisinier, Emmanuel
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:September 2022
Keywords:Spontaneous Heroism, Heroism, Spontaneity, Intersubjectivity, Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology, Philosophy, Morality, Moral Orientation
ID Code:991168
Deposited By: Emmanuel Cuisinier
Deposited On:23 Sep 2022 16:32
Last Modified:23 Sep 2022 16:32
Related URLs:


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